Major theme parks

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Note that some rides have height restrictions or limited access to people with physical disabilities, and some attractions may incur additional charges.

* Organisation: Wicksteed Park, Kettering What it offers: Variety of rides including a monorail, roller-coaster, pirate ship and Cine 2000.

Other information: Open April to October. School parties during term time. Reduced rates and teachers free.

Tel: 01536 512475.

* Organisation: Disneyland Paris What it offers: Many rides and attractions, plus activities such as swimming, tennis and ice-skating (seasonal).

Other information: High season is between March 26 and October 31. Prices variable.

Tel: 0990 030303.


* Organisation: Pleasure Island, Cleethorpes What it offers: Around 70 attractions, with some organised along themes, such as Morocco, Spain and Old England. Rides include Boomerang roller-coaster, ParaTower, which lets you free-fall from more than 100 feet! New attractions include Hyperblaster, a white knuckle ride, and a live show with music from the Sixties to the Nineties.

Other information: Special school rates, pre-pay pound;4.50 per pupils with free teacher place for every tenth pupil, and additional teaching staff are charged pound;5 each.

Tel: 01482 211511.

* Organisation: The American Adventure, Ilkeston

What it offers: Sporting Challenge, treasure hunt, kart racing, skycoaster river boat, shows and more.

Other information: Open from 10am April to October. Group rates available.

Tel: 01773 531521.

* Organisation: Pleasureland, Southport

What it offers: Around 100 attractions including the Truamatizer, go-karts, flying elephants, Viking boats, entertainment centre and educational tours. New attractions include King Solomon's Mines nd a reverse bungee jump.

Other information: Open from April. Special group rates for 12 or more visitors.

Tel: 01704 532717.

* Organisation: Drayton Manor, near Tamworth What it offers: Attractions include, Stormforce 10 water ride, Shockwave (the only stand-up roller-coaster in Europe) farm, museums, zoo, garden centre and activity park.

Other information: Open March 27 to October 31. School rates available.

Tel: 01827 287979.

* Organisation: Thorpe Park, Chertsey

What it offers: Pirates 4D, where you also feel the action, park, fantasy reef, farm complete with Pot Bellies. New attraction is Tidal Wave water ride.

Other information: Open from April to October. Open from 9.30am weekdays during school holidays. Has a groups and school service.

Tel: 0870 5880888.

* Organisation: Alton Towers, Alton

What it offers: Attractions include UG Land, a Stone Age theme park, Corkscrew roller-coaster, gardens, 3D cinema, riverbank eye-spy, a river ride which involves spotting cartoon animals hidden in the undergrowth. Open until October 29 (Alton Towers Hotel open all year round).

Other information: Group and school discounts available.

Tel: 0990 204060.

* Organisation: Legoland Windsor (see photo, left)

What it offers: Has many millions of Lego bricks! Has workshops linked to national curriculum key stages 1-3 in IT and design and technology. Some workshops use Lego Dacta control systems. Mindstorms Robosports covers robotic technology and uses "intelligent" Lego bricks.

Other information:. School rates apply Monday-Friday during term time.

Tel: 08705 040404.

* See page 13 for a feature on the Efteling theme park in Holland, which includes details of a fantasy adventure writing competion where you can win free tickets to the park.

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